Family Violence

Family violence is any behaviour by a family member towards another family member that:

The behaviour does not need to be criminal for it to be family violence. For a child, direct or indirect exposure to family violence is a form of family violence.

 Family violence includes…

Best Interests of the Child and Family Violence

When a court decides on parenting arrangements they look at the best interests of the child. The court considers the child’s physical, emotional and psychological safety, security and wellbeing. Family violence is always considered when the court decides on a parenting arrangement. It is considered even if it has never been directed towards the children.

Children who witness violence between their parents are often terrified by it and do not understand what is happening. Even children who do not witness the violence are affected by living in a home where it is present. A violent parent may use the child to intimidate or control the other parent and may even in some serious cases take or harm the child.

The court will specifically consider the impact of family violence on…

The court will also take into account…

Parenting Orders when there is Family Violence

There are a number of orders that the court can consider to help keep the child safe when there has been family violence.

The court can order supervised parenting time for a parent who has engaged in family violence. This means the child will not be alone with that parent.

When the court makes a parenting order, they can prohibit a parent from taking the child outside of a specified geographic area. This means the child cannot be taken away from the place where they are living even for a short time, for example, to travel out of the area to visit relatives.

If you believe that your children are being abused or neglected, you must report it to a child protection worker.

Parental Abduction

It is a criminal offence for a parent to take a child under 14 away from the other parent against a parenting order. For this offence it does not matter where in Canada the court order was made. Police will try to locate and return the child and may charge the parent who took the child.

It is also an offence for a parent to keep a child away from the other parent even if there is no parenting order. However, in this situation the consent of the Attorney General is required for charges to be laid.

If a parent takes a child under the age of 16 out of Canada against a court order, it may be possible to have the order enforced under international child abduction agreements. More information and assistance is available from the Central Authority for Saskatchewan under the Hague Convention. 


There are a number of options and resources for people who are living with family violence.

If your partner sponsored you to become a permanent resident they may threaten you with deportation if you leave. If you are a permanent resident, leaving will not affect your immigration status. Even if you are not a permanent resident, you may still have options to apply to remain in Canada. If you are in this situation, it is important for you to seek legal advice.

The Victims of Interpersonal Violence Act

Saskatchewan has a law that provides ways to help fight violence in personal relationships. The Victims of Interpersonal Violence Act applies to...

Interpersonal violence includes…

This law creates three ways to deal with interpersonal violence:

Emergency Intervention Orders

In an emergency, victims of interpersonal violence can apply to a special Justice of the Peace for help at any time of the day or night. The Justice of the Peace must be satisfied that there has been interpersonal violence and that the matter cannot wait for a court hearing. Police officers, mobile crisis workers and victim services coordinators can help victims apply for these orders.

An emergency intervention order can include an order that...

Victim's Assistance Order

A victim's assistance order is similar to an emergency intervention order, but is used in non-emergency situations. The victim applies to a judge at the Court of Queen's Bench. A judge can include any of the orders that may be made under an emergency intervention order. A victim's assistance order can also include an order that...

Warrant Permitting Entry

A Justice of the Peace may grant a warrant to a police officer, or other person, to enter a place where it is believed there is a victim of interpersonal violence. The warrant may be granted only after the access to a person who may be a victim of interpersonal violence has been denied. The warrant allows the police to enter the home to assist or examine the possible victim and to remove the victim from the home, if necessary.

Peace Bonds

If you fear you may be harassed or abused in the future, and have good reason to believe this, you can get protection from the courts in the form of a peace bond. A peace bond is not a criminal conviction. A peace bond is a court protection order that requires another person to "keep the peace" (for example, stay away from the person being harassed) for a certain amount of time and to obey any other conditions the court may add.


PLEA's Famli website  has a Safety Planning Tool designed to help people dealing with violent relationships by providing them with ways or plans to increase their safety. By answering anonymous and confidential questions about their situation people can create a safety plan specific to their situation and their needs. 

211 Saskatchewan offers a database of over 6,000 community, social, non-clinical health, and government services across Saskatchewan.  You call or text 211 to be connected with Service Navigators ready to help 24/7/365. Help over the phone is available in over 175 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages.

The Abuse Help Lines, listed near the front of SaskTel phonebooks, provide information about abuse, counselling and support services, as well as contact information for safe shelters and help lines. 

Other Languages

Information on this topic is also available in the following languages.

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